Dear Bucks Parents [and children]
The big day is drawing near......thought I would share some of my rules and regulations [ I consider my self a ‘fun’ tutor BUT will stand no nonsense and can be a hard task master!!!]
Some may be obvious others not.......feel free to add your own tips......
The previous week to the exam
a] Pasta is banned leading up to the test......pasta is known for giving physical energy, however in SOME individuals it has the reverse effect on mental ability [ can cloud the mind]
b] Keep everything normal, perhaps a few walks......fresh air.
c] Good food, plenty of water.
d] Not necessarily an early night, but a decent time [ go to bed too early, will be up all night worrying.]
The morning of the test
A good, healthy breakfast.......many children eat quite early......by the time the child sits the test it could be 2 hours later.......blood sugars taking a nose dive.....on the way to school [ in addition to breakfast]......a banana or healthy snack.
Its inevitable.....there WILL be children crying, your child MUST NOT get caught up in the emotions of other children.......tell them that they must distance themselves and that they will be doing the right thing by telling a teacher of said childs predicament.
1] Make sure your child has a watch [not one that beeps!].........every school is different in informing children of the time left….some say half time and 5 minutes to go, others 2 minutes to go and some only state the half way time. Tell your child to take watch off and put it in front of them so they can glance at it [if its on their wrist they have to physically look at it.......wasting seconds]
2] Tell your child that at half time......they do NOT have to be half way.......many children panic at this stage because they have not reached 40......so what!!!.....it could be that the first half had a number of code questions and bracket maths......they just need to be working quickly and efficiently.
3] Both Z questions MUST be left till last.
4] Any question that child is unsure of......put a large ring around the question number and take a good, well educated guess…..go back if time......do not leave it blank
5] Do NOT leave out whole sections.......if a child takes this course, its normally because they do not like that ‘type’ [normally codes and bracket maths.]........they sometimes fall into the trap of a ‘false sense of security’.......ie think they are going great guns, only to realise that at the end they have to go back to those dreaded questions, panic sets in, knock on effect......silly mistakes.
6] Remind your children that they MUST make notes where appropriate, working quickly can play havoc with mental agility.......write things down do NOT attempt to do everything in their heads [ stereotypical….its a boy thing!]......they can write ANYWHERE on the booklet......and it doesn’t have to be neat, only enough for them to be able to read it.
7] When they have 2 minutes left......GUESS.........all last minute guesses should be done in a straight line......Guess all As or Bs or Cs etc....... more likely to get some right than if guessed randomly....... ensure that all questions have been answered on the answer sheet.
8] A major bugbear of mine…..children sitting with pencil in one hand and WHERE is that other hand……I can tell you that when my students first start with me their ‘OTHER’ hand is normally sitting on their lap or on their chin or on the side of their face. I CAN assure you that by the time they finish with me …..THAT hand is on the question booklet with their forefinger pointing at the question they are on…..the rest of the hand is ‘covering’ the questions below [so there eyes are always in the correct position!]……Its become a joke that now all I have to say is ‘HAND’ and it immediately goes to the right position. Some mothers have even joked with me asking me for a recording for my voice saying things like…..’hand, 20 seconds, 10 seconds, hand, 45 seconds , 2 minutes to complete that section, hand, 4 minutes to finish those codes, nag, nag, nag.
9] In addition…if the child is right handed the answer sheet should be on their right, if left handed, on their left…..imagine [ for right handers]…..question booklet on left, left hand pointing to question, right hand with pencil, question attempted, left hand stays on booklet, right hand moves across to answer sheet, which is on their right….obviously vice versa for left handers…..
You the parent
STAY CALM, KEEP YOURSELF BUSY, DO NOT SHOW YOUR EMOTIONS TO YOUR CHILD, DO NOT WORRY...... YOU HAVE ALREADY DONE THE BEST FOR YOUR CHILD.........THERE IS NOTHING ELSE THAT CAN BE DONE.
Good Luck to all children and parents